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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 57 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Adapting the Solar System v 2005  (Read 1808 times)
Kaare Berg
Member

Posts: 158


« on: August 05, 2005, 04:37:31 AM »

I've been ranting about TSOY to my group for a while, (and the events surrounding the latest game can be found over at Actual Play) I'd like to share a little observation with you here.

The Solar System's true power lies not in its play (which is genius and powerful) but in its ease of adaption to different settings and themes of play.

The World of Near doesn't do it for me. So I needed something else. We tried it briefly in a no myth style fantasy setting, but this never got of the ground. Then there was that actual play.

To prepare for it all I had to do was to rewrite some of the Secrets and change a few names. Changed the wording on the ability ranks to something that sounded more sci fiish and off we went.

e.g.
secret adaption:
Secret of Body Weaponry
became
Secret of Cold Flesh
Your Character has replaced parts of his body with mechanical limbs and parts. Some hide weapons and armor in this new cold flesh, others tools. This Secret works like the Secret of Imbuement and may be taken multiple times in order to gain more potent or extra weapons and armor.
Key adaption
Key of the Tribe became the Key of the Crew
Rank adaption:
Greenhorn became Trained

Suddenly I had the The Shadow of Stars.

Ok, I had in advance written down some core setting concepts based on V. Bakers setting essay aswell as something that Paka (aka Judd) told me over at the BW forum called five concept campaigns.

Like these:
Core Concepts
  • Science Fiction is about humans and their relationships.
  • A gothic space fantasy with overtones from WH40K, Fading Suns, the works of A. Reynolds and a smattering of Firefly
  • It is the Dark Ages in space.
  • Characters are all crew of a small trader ship called the Gnostic Avenger.
  • Character centered stories with NO larger plot
  • Elements and npcs must recur
  • Character centered stories with NO larger plot
  • Short "seasons"with specific goals set by the players. E.g. fix the Sundrive.
  • No alien races. Humans or DevGens (genetically modified humans)
  • Technology is a regressed tool
Setting Principles
  • Life is cheap and easily brutalised.
  • Power corrupts.
  • Innocense proves Nothing.
  • Faith and burecracy are the uniting factors of the Hegemony.
  • There are no civil rights but what you take, power means protection.

and then as my juices got flowing I wrote short lists like these for different factions that I figured might produce grabby Npcs. And had these in mind when I changed the wording of the excisiting Solar System / TSOY secrets and Keys. However it was the ease with which these changes came to me that astounded me.

Anyone else had similar experiences with TSOY/Solar System?

K - chronic system thief
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-K
Clinton R. Nixon
Moderator
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Posts: 2624


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2005, 04:40:42 AM »

I've had a similar experience, I think.

Oh, I will post the new rules to TSOY soon enough. They've changed a bit since you've last seen the "Solar System." The major big things are:

- The harm tracker. 1-3 is bruised, 4-5 is bloodied, 6 is broken.

- Ability rankings: No more -1 ranking.
0 is Unskilled
1 is Competent
2 is Adept
3 is Master
4 is Grand Master

Initial ability selection is 1 Adept and 3 Competent.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Kaare Berg
Member

Posts: 158


« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2005, 05:03:17 AM »

Definitve improvement on the Harm tracker. Found it inordinatly hard to break some NPCS. (which just raised and interesting question for another post.)

Why the decision to drop the unskilled -1, this changes a lot?
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-K
Clinton R. Nixon
Moderator
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Posts: 2624


WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2005, 05:29:25 AM »

Why the decision to drop the unskilled -1, this changes a lot?

It doesn't change that much. It does remove one level of suck that I didn't need. There's only one ability level that blows now, which fits with the game. Before, you always had about six abilities at what is now unskilled, anyway. You just get all of them now.

The math is much prettier, starting from zero.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Kaare Berg
Member

Posts: 158


« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2005, 09:30:21 AM »

If you follow the statement made in the original TSOY (page 51 of the book) Ability Breadth in regards to thematically intresting this makes sense.

Instead of just saying: "here pick your adept and three competent abilities and thats it" would you not be better served by also saying pick six abilities at Unskilled that you think will make this character thematically interesting. Following from one small point I picked up at lumpley.com somewhere, That what ever we write on the character sheet shall have a bearing on play.

Makes a little change (and I know its too late.)

Later
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-K
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